#1 A Pinata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twleve Days of Christmas by Pat Mora W
A secret amiga is bringing gifts for the twelve days of Christmas. There are pinatas and pastelitos and doce angelitos.
#2 Hurray for Three Kings’ Day by Lori Marie Carlson WWW
The author combined several Three Kings’ Day celebrations into one. In this story, Anita and her brothers–Tito and Tomas–join a neighborhood procession traveling from house to house asking where to find the baby. Later at the feast, Anita finds the baby in the cake and is named queen of the feast.
Please note: Tomas and Tito tease Anita about still believing that the kings deliver the gifts. If you’re reading this to any Believers, be careful to skip those few lines.
#3 Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto WWW
My first introduction to this book was through the excellent Scholastic video. It’s worth your while to track it down. In this story, Maria has the grown-up task of helping prepare the Christmas Eve tamales. While cooking, she tries on her mother’s diamond ring. Soon Maria realizes the ring is gone. Is it in the tamales? Maria convinces her cousins to help her find it–by eating ALL the tamales.
#4 The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie DePaola WWW
The night of the special procession, the young couple who were to play Mary and Joseph are stuck in a snowstorm. But Christmas is a time of miracles, and the beautiful wooden nativity figures come to life to lead the village on their procession.
#5 When Christmas Feels Like Home by Gretchen Griffith WWW
This is another new 2013 title. Eduardo has left his home in Latin America for a new home in the United States. And it just doesn’t feel like home. Eduardo’s new friend tries to explain the changing seasons to him: mountain turns the color of the sun, pumpkins will smile, trees ride on cars. And by the time Chrismtas comes, Eduardo feels like he’s finally home.
Pancho’s Pinata by Stefan Czernecki WWWW
This is an imagining of the history behind the first pinata and it’s totally a sentimental recommendation. I bought this book before I was even a teacher. I hoped I’d get to teach about December traditions. When I finally did, I realized this book is a bit too wordy–and the pictures a bit too rustic–to really appeal to kids, but it still has a warm place in my heart.
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